Bellwether reports spending up for first time in ten quarters
LONDON - Optimism in the wider economy is translating into increased ad budgets with marketing spend up for the first time in two-and-a-half years, according to the latest IPA/BDO Bellwether report.
Marketing spend on the up
Marketing budgets for companies were revised upwards, with around 21% of companies reporting a rise in the first quarter of this year - the first in ten quarters - according to the survey of marketers at 300 companies.
Marketers remained optimistic about the prospects for the year ahead and said they are planning to raise advertising spend in 2010.
Around 42% of executives surveyed were more optimistic about the financial prospects for their company than they were three months ago, and 31% more optimistic for the industry.
More than one third of companies have set 2010 budgets higher than 2009 spend on average.
This is in contrast to last year’s report which showed spend fell for the second successive year in 2009, though at a slower rate than the previous year.
Digital budgets were revised upwards for the third quarter in succession, with digital being the fastest growing medium. The latest revision is the highest since the first quarter 2008.
Rory Sutherland, IPA president, vice-chairman, Ogilvy Group UK, said: "It's good to see that businesses are now increasing their investment in marketing as a route to growth - a welcome change in sentiment compared to this time last year. While online activities are leading the turnaround this year, the findings show that conventional advertising has now also turned the corner."
Andy Viner, head of media, BDO LLP, said: "These results are a clear sign that renewed business confidence is translating in to real budget increases and tangible economic recovery."
"However, this should not be seen as simply a return to the good old days for all marketing disciplines, as spend on the marketing mix is changing. Businesses need to justify their increased budgets and maximise return on investment (ROI), so we have seen a rise in measurable internet marketing activities and moves away from areas such as below-the-line spend and sponsorship."
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